Local SEO is a powerful way to promote your business, especially if you are a service provider. Local SEO can help you attract leads and reach potential customers.
However, there are more ways to get it wrong than right, if you don't know what you're doing. To save you time and frustration, here are some tips to improve your local presence this year.
1. On-Page Optimization
It all starts with your website. Properly optimizing your website and the content on it will help your business get found online when someone searches for your product or service in Google or any other search engine. Here are some tips to make sure your website is optimized proberly so you have a better chance of getting found.
A.) Mobile friendly. Make sure your website is mobile friendly. With 50% of searches happening on mobile, it's important to make sure people can find the information they need on a mobile platform.
B.) Optimized title tag. Title tags define the title of a document and are used on search engine results pages (SERPs) to display a preview for that page. The title tag of your web page should be an a concise description of a page's content. It creates value in three specific areas: relevancy, browsing, and in the search engine results pages. Keep these tips in mind when optimizing your title tags:
- Length: Keep the length around 50-60 words. Google will truncate titles that exceed this length.
- Placement of keywords: having the important keywords closer to the start of the title tag, the more helpful it is for ranking - thus, the more likely a user will be to click them in search results.
- Consider impact and emotions: headlines used to sell newspapers. Creating a compelling title tag will pull in more visits from the search results.
C.) Keywords: Include keywords that identify with your business throughout your website content to increase relevance. These keywords can include words that identify with your business, its service or location.
D.) Address: When you’re optimising local pages on your website, include your businesses address and phone number not only on the homepage or contact page, but on each individual page.
E.) Maps: Surely you've heard of Google Maps. Did you know you can embed a Google map right on your website. Doing so can help with local SEO rankings by further showing where your business is located.
F.) Unique and quality content. Make sure you have unique, original and educational content on your site.
G) Add social sharing buttons to your content
H.) Set up a blog and publish often; at least twice monthly.
2. Build out and update your business listings on local website:
An effective way to boost SEO is to make available consistent business listings across a plethora of third-party sources. Google (and other search engines) scan these sites to develop an understanding of the local web and your business.
A.) Research local listing websites (Google +, Yelp, Yellowbook, Facebook) to ensure your business is listed. Make sure the name of your business, phone number and address are all consistent and accurate.
B.) Include lots of content: video, photos and website URL to make your listings more attractive and informative to potential customers.
C.) List your business in the appropriate categories so it can be properly optimized.
D.) If you have multiple locations for your business, then create a separate listing for each location.
3. Encourage and Respond To Online User Reviews
User reviews help to build your business' reputation and visibility in search results and so will your engagement in responding to them.
A.) Encourage customers to leave ratings and reviews of your business if they are satisfied with your work. The more authentic and positive reviews your business receives, the better.
B.) Provide customers with an easy way to provide feedback and reviews. Whether it's a separate review web page, an email or a callout on your site.
C.) Respond and engage with the customers reviews. If it's positive then thank them, if negative then you have an opportunity to reach out to the customer and address the problem.
D.) Never post false reviews. False reviews are usually discovered and when they are they can have very negative effects on your visibility.
4. Link Building
Links help to establish credibility and authority of your business by linking from your website to other related websites and vice versa.
A.) Provide links in your content throughout your site. Even if it's links to additional content on your site, this will help engagement and keeping them on your site.
B.) Share links to your website via your social media channels. These social media sites encourage others to pass along the information.
C.) Links from other related local businesses. Sure you won't get links from your direct competitor but you can exchange links and information with some related businesses.
5. Social Media
Love it or hate it, you can't leave this out. Social media will play a significant role in search engine visibility. The more engaged and proactive you are with your social media the better liklihood your pages will attract followers.
A. Develop a social media stragegy that engages customers via Google +, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and other social networks on a consistent basis.
B. Include updates on products or services, promotions or any other information relevant to your customers.
There you have it, a quick and simple, fluff-free, effective plan for ranking locally this coming year. If you have any questions or tips to share with fellow Avanti Vision readers, please leave them below.